Monday, December 20, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse/Winter Solstice

A Total Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice.  Doesn't happen very often.


A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth's shadow passes in front of the moon obscuring the sun's light from hitting the moon directly.  Some does get through producing a reddish/rusty color from our perspective on earth.

Add in this event occurring on the winter solstice and it becomes very rare.  The last time it happened was in 1638.  Beyond this date, we really don't know for sure because the earth's rotation changes over time.  The further we go back, the actual lunar eclipse dates become less accurate.  Still, almost 400 years is a really long time.

Most articles list 2094 as the next total lunar eclipse date on a winter solstice.  But this one will only be visible in Europe and Asia.  So I checked the lunar tables on the NASA ECLIPSE SITE and came up with this date for all of us in Cleveland.

DECEMBER 21, 2466, starts at 7:19 PM

Here is the chart if you want to check the date out.  Its at the bottom in red.
Indeed a long way off so get ready early!

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